Imminent Traffic Disaster Alert: Kansas Motorcyclists May Legally Be Able to Run Reds

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We hope Kansas riders are a bit more cautious than this one.

REUTERS/Pilar Olivares

We all get frustrated when we’re waiting at red lights that won’t seem to change, but it doesn’t mean ignoring red lights should be legal. Kansas lawmakers seem to disagree, and are prepared to allow motorcyclists to ignore red lights.

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If a signal “fails to turn green” after a “reasonable period of time,” motorcycles under a certain weight can go ahead, according to a bill passed Tuesday by the Kansas House. If a motorcyclist feels that a sensor has not noticed the waiting bike, it is up to the driver’s own discretion to proceed through the red light.

You may be wondering: How on earth this could become legal? Traffic-light sensors often do not detect lighter motorcycles, so some drivers complained of being stuck out in the tundra, waiting for larger vehicles that would be large enough to trigger the signal to change the light.

This bill is part of a larger road safety package. The other component seeks to prohibit local jurisdictions from adding extra fines to violators of seat belt laws. With such lax policies on red lights and seat belts, this is one peculiar road safety law.

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